Orb Weaver Spiders

Orb Weaver Spider Control: Protect Your Home or Business

Facts

  • Orb weavers create webs with concentric circles and radial lines.
  • Certain types of webs contain a signal thread that alerts the spider to captured prey.
  • To avoid predators, some nocturnal species hide in nearby vegetation during daylight hours.
  • Some orb weavers eat and then rebuild their webs each night, often in the same location.

Appearance

Like all spiders, orb weavers have two main body segments and eight legs. These arachnids also have two smaller limbs, called pedipalps, which they use to hold and taste their food. An orb weaver has three claws on each foot rather than the usual two. It uses this third claw to handle threads while spinning webs.

Orb weavers have a range of colors and patterns. Nocturnal species are usually tan or light brown. Some daytime dwellers, like the garden spider, have bright patterns in yellow or red. Others are dark brown to black with spiked bodies. Sizes differ by species with the largest at about an inch in length, and females are typically much bigger than males.

How Do Orb Weaver Spiders Get Inside Buildings?

Most orb weavers get inside by accident through open doors or windows. People living in wooded areas may see the pest more often since they live in an ideal spider habitat. In the Mid-Atlantic region, adult orb weavers are common from midsummer up until the first freeze.

Orb weaver spiders create webs in outdoor stairwells and near buildings with exterior lights. Warehouses with bright security lamps often have these and other arachnids around the loading docks. Other species prefer shrubs, tall grass, and trees. They may hide in landscaping near hotels and apartments and occasionally wander indoors.

Signs of Orb Weaver Spider Infestation

  • Webs – These pests construct large, spherical webs that can be up to three feet across. Some, like those made by the yellow garden spider, also have a zigzag stripe. If you spot a web, an orb weaver may be nearby.
  • Adults – Full grown spiders often rest in the center of their webs with their heads facing downward. Their size may alarm homeowners or greenhouse and nursery customers where plants are plentiful.
  • Egg sacs – Females deposit these teardrop-shaped egg cases under the bark of dead trees, in cracks or crevices, or on a web. Nature center visitors and hikers may encounter them in the fall.
  • Spiderlings – When spring arrives, baby spiders emerge from the egg sacs where they overwintered. They are so tiny that they often go unnoticed.

Problems Caused by Orb Weaver Spiders

Although they look intimidating, orb weaver spiders are beneficial. These arachnids eat insects that most consider pests, but people can also find them frightening. Some species weave webs at face level along trails, which may be unpleasant for hikers enjoying the outdoors.

Bites from orb weaver spiders are rare. Rough handling or moving too close to an egg sac may prompt an attack. While no more dangerous than a bee sting, an orb weaver spider bite can cause serious symptoms for those with allergies.

Prevention Tips

The best way to keep orb weaver spiders from becoming a problem in your home or business is to close off any openings they can use for access. Make sure windows and doors seal properly and that screens are in good repair. Regular landscaping maintenance near entryways may also deter the pests from spinning webs in high traffic areas.

Additionally, consider replacing outdoor lighting with bulbs designed to avoid attracting pests. Switching to these lamps allows you to reduce spider populations by decreasing the amount of available insect prey. For concerns about orb weaver spiders or other infestations, contact the professionals at Western Pest Services for expert advice and solutions.

Author: Western Pest Services